How to Start a Leggings Business in 14 Steps (In-Depth Guide)

Updated: April 10, 2024 is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The global leggings market size is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2% from 2024 to 2028. Imagine being your boss, setting your hours, and building a brand that empowers people to look and feel their best.


Starting a leggings business is an exciting opportunity to tap into a thriving market that shows no signs of slowing down. By launching your own leggings business, you can carve out your niche in this lucrative industry and create a successful venture that aligns with your passions and values.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through how to start a leggings business. From compiling market research to sourcing materials and building your brand in the fashion industry, we’ve got you covered.

1. Conduct Leggings Market Research

Conducting thorough market research is crucial as you start your own legging brand. It helps you understand the industry landscape, identify your target audience, and make informed decisions. The growth of this industry is driven by factors such as increasing health consciousness and the rise of athleisure wear.


Some details you’ll learn through market research for a leggings clothing line include:

  • The leggings market is highly competitive, with numerous established brands and emerging players. To stand out, consider focusing on a specific niche or offering unique features.
  • The demand for eco-friendly and sustainable leggings is on the rise, presenting a promising opportunity for businesses that prioritize sustainability.
  • The leggings market is influenced by fashion trends, seasonal changes, and technological advancements. Selling floral leggings, for example, has been trending.
  • Some of the latest trends in the leggings market include high-waisted leggings, seamless leggings, and leggings with pockets.
  • E-commerce platforms have gained significant traction in the leggings market, with many consumers preferring the convenience of online shopping.
  • Consider a multi-channel approach to maximize your reach and cater to different customer preferences.
  • Both wholesale leggings and custom leggings and yoga pants are growing in popularity in womenswear and teen markets.
  • The profit margins in the leggings industry can range from 20% to 50%, depending on factors such as product quality, pricing strategy, and distribution channels.

By conducting comprehensive market research, you’ll gain valuable insights into the leggings industry, and the target market for your clothing boutique or online store. This foundation will help you create a strong business plan.

2. Analyze the Competition

Analyzing the competition is a crucial step when starting a leggings business and market your legging brand effectively. To gain a competitive edge, you need to understand who your competitors are and what they offer. Begin by identifying your direct competitors, both online and offline.

For brick-and-mortar businesses, visit your competitors’ stores and observe their product offerings, pricing, store layout, and customer service. Take note of their strengths and weaknesses, and consider how you can differentiate your business.

In the online space, start by conducting a thorough search on Google, Amazon, and other relevant e-commerce platforms. Analyze your competitors’ websites, product descriptions, pricing, and customer reviews.

Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs can help you analyze your competitors’ online presence, including their search engine rankings, backlinks, and keyword strategies. These insights can help you optimize your website and marketing efforts to outrank your competitors and attract more customers.

Keep an eye on your competitors’ pricing strategies and promotions. Shopify recommends conducting a competitive price analysis to ensure that your prices are competitive while still allowing for a healthy profit margin. Stay up-to-date with your competitors’ sales, discounts, and bundling offers.

By thoroughly analyzing your competition, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the leggings market landscape and identify opportunities to differentiate your business. Use these insights to refine your product offerings, pricing strategies, and marketing efforts to find success.

3. Costs to Start a Leggings Business

Starting a leggings business requires careful financial planning to ensure a strong foundation for success. Let’s break down the startup and ongoing costs you can expect as fashion designers launch new leggings line.

Startup Costs

  • Business Registration and Licenses: Depending on your location and business structure, you may need to register your business and obtain the necessary licenses. Expect to spend around $300 to $500 on these administrative tasks.
  • Equipment and Supplies: Shopify estimates that these costs can range from $2,000 to $10,000, depending on the quality and quantity of equipment you purchase.
  • Inventory: One of the most significant startup costs for a leggings business is inventory. You’ll need to invest in fabric, elastic, and other materials to create your leggings. Plan to invest at least $5,000 to $10,000 in initial inventory.
  • Website and E-commerce Platform: In today’s digital age, having an online presence is crucial. Expect to spend around $1,000 to $3,000 on website design, development, and setup.
  • Marketing and Advertising: To launch your leggings business successfully, you’ll need to invest in marketing and advertising. Allocate around $2,000 to $5,000 for initial marketing efforts.
  • Rent and Utilities: Depending on your location and the size of your workspace, expect to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 per month on rent and utilities.
  • Business Insurance: Protecting your leggings business with insurance is essential. The average cost of business insurance for small businesses ranges from $500 to $3,500 per year.

Ongoing Costs

  • Inventory Replenishment: As you sell your leggings, you must continually replenish your inventory. Budget around $2,000 to $5,000 per month for ongoing inventory expenses, depending on your sales volume.
  • Shipping and Packaging: The average shipping cost per package ranges from $3 to $10, depending on the size, weight, and destination of the package.
  • Employee Salaries: The cost of employee salaries will vary depending on the number of employees and their roles. Budget at least $2,000 to $5,000 per month for employee salaries.
  • Marketing and Advertising: Allocate around $1,000 to $3,000 per month for marketing activities, such as social media advertising, email marketing, and content creation.
  • Utilities and Maintenance: Budget around $500 to $1,500 per month for these expenses, depending on the size of your facilities and the nature of your operations.
  • Accounting and Legal Fees: Expect to spend around $1,000 to $3,000 per year on accounting and legal fees.

By understanding and planning for these startup and ongoing costs, you’ll be better equipped to manage your finances and make informed decisions as you launch and grow your leggings business. Remember to create a detailed budget and regularly review your expenses to stay on track.

4. Form a Legal Business Entity

When starting a leggings business, one of the crucial decisions you’ll make is choosing the right legal structure for your venture. The four main types of business entities are Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and Corporation.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the simplest and most common business structure. As a sole proprietor, you have complete control over your leggings business, and all profits are yours. You are also personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business. If your leggings business faces legal issues you could be at risk.


A partnership is a business structure where two or more individuals share ownership of the leggings business. Partnerships can be advantageous for leggings businesses that benefit from shared expertise and resources. Partnerships can also lead to conflicts and disagreements among partners.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC is a popular choice for leggings businesses because it offers the personal liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits and flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship. As an LLC owner, you are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business, protecting your assets.


A corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners, offering the highest level of personal liability protection. Corporations can be either C-corporations or S-corporations, each with its tax implications. Corporations also have more complex reporting requirements and less flexibility compared to other business structures.

5. Register Your Business For Taxes

Once you’ve chosen the legal structure for your leggings business, the next crucial step is to register your business for taxes. One of the most important aspects of this process is obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

An EIN, also known as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your business for tax purposes. Think of it as a Social Security number for your leggings business.

An EIN is required for various business purposes, including opening a business bank account, hiring employees, and filing tax returns. Applying for an EIN is a straightforward process that can be completed online through the IRS website.

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online. The online application is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST, and the process typically takes less than 15 minutes. To apply, you’ll need to provide basic information about your leggings business, such as the legal structure, ownership, and reason for applying.

It’s important to note that obtaining an EIN is free when applying directly through the IRS website. Be cautious of third-party websites that may charge a fee for this service. Additionally, be prepared to provide your personal information, such as your Social Security number, as part of the application process.

In addition to obtaining an EIN, it’s crucial to register your leggings business with your state’s tax authorities. This process varies by state but typically involves registering for sales tax, which is a percentage of the sale price that you collect from customers and remit to the state.

6. Setup Your Accounting

Setting up proper accounting practices is crucial for the success of your leggings business. Accurate financial records not only help you make informed business decisions but also ensure compliance with tax regulations and avoid potential legal issues.

Accounting Software

To streamline your accounting process, consider investing in accounting software like QuickBooks. QuickBooks automates many aspects of the accounting process, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors. By integrating your bank accounts and credit cards with QuickBooks, you can easily track income.

Hire an Accountant

Working with a professional accountant can provide additional benefits. An accountant can offer expert guidance on bookkeeping, financial planning, and tax preparation. They can help you set up a chart of accounts tailored to your leggings business, ensure accurate record-keeping, and provide insights.

Open a Business Bank Account

One crucial aspect of accounting for your leggings business is separating your personal and business finances. Commingling personal and business funds can lead to confusion, make it difficult to track business expenses, and raise red flags with the IRS. To avoid these issues, open a separate bank account.

Apply for a Business Credit Card

Consider obtaining a business credit card. A business credit card can help you keep your business expenses separate from personal expenses and establish a credit history for your leggings business. Credit limits on business credit cards are often higher than personal credit cards.

7. Obtain Licenses and Permits

Before officially launching your leggings business, it’s crucial to obtain the necessary licenses. Find federal license information through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA also offers a local search tool for state and city requirements.

One of the most common licenses required for a leggings business is a general business license. This license is issued by your local city or county government and grants you the right to operate a business within their jurisdiction. The cost and requirements for a general business license vary by location.

In addition to a general business license, your leggings business may need to obtain a seller’s permit or resale certificate. This permit allows you to purchase inventory from suppliers without paying sales tax, as you’ll be collecting sales tax from your customers when they purchase your leggings.

If you plan to manufacture your leggings, you may need to obtain a manufacturing license. This license ensures that your manufacturing process complies with local zoning laws, safety regulations, and environmental standards. The requirements for a manufacturing license vary depending on your location.

If you intend to hire employees for your leggings business, you’ll need to obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. This unique number is used for various purposes, including reporting employee wages and filing business tax returns. Additionally, you’ll need to register with your state’s labor department.

Depending on your business model and location, you may need to obtain additional licenses and permits specific to the leggings industry. For example, if you plan to sell your leggings at local events or markets, you may need to obtain a vendor’s license or temporary event permit.

8. Get Business Insurance

As a leggings business owner, protecting your venture from potential risks and liabilities is essential. One of the most effective ways to safeguard your business is by obtaining the right insurance coverage. Business insurance provides financial protection in the event of accidents, claims, or unforeseen circumstances.

Imagine the following situations:

  • A customer claims that your leggings caused an allergic reaction or injury due to a manufacturing defect. Without product liability insurance, you could be held personally liable for any medical expenses, legal fees, and damages awarded to the customer.
  • A fire breaks out in your leggings storage facility, destroying your inventory and equipment. Without property insurance, you’d have to bear the full cost of replacing your damaged assets, which could be a significant financial blow to your business.
  • Your leggings business falls victim to a data breach, exposing sensitive customer information like credit card numbers and addresses. Without cyber liability insurance, you could face costly legal battles, damage to your reputation, and loss of customer trust, potentially ruining your business.

To protect your leggings business from these and other risks, it’s crucial to obtain business insurance. The process of getting insured involves assessing your specific needs, selecting the right policies, and finding a reputable insurance provider.

Begin by identifying your business risks. Evaluate your leggings business’s unique risks, such as product liability, property damage, and cyber threats. Consider factors like your business size, location, and operational scope. Next, determine the types of coverage you need.

Common insurance policies for leggings businesses include general liability, product liability, property, business interruption, and cyber liability insurance. Work with an experienced insurance agent or broker to assess your needs and recommend appropriate coverage.

Shop around for insurance providers. Research and compare insurance providers that specialize in small business coverage. Look for providers with experience in the apparel or e-commerce industry. Consider factors like coverage options, premiums, deductibles, and customer reviews.

Request quotes and compare policies. Contact multiple insurance providers and request quotes based on your specific needs. Compare the coverage, premiums, and deductibles of each policy to find the best fit for your leggings business. Finally, purchase and maintain your insurance policies.

9. Create an Office Space

Creating a dedicated office space for your leggings business can significantly enhance your productivity, professionalism, and work-life balance. Whether you’re starting or expanding your venture, having a designated workspace offers a space for administrative duties.

Home Office

For many leggings business owners, a home office is a practical and cost-effective solution. Setting up a dedicated room or area in your home for business purposes allows you to keep your overhead costs low while maintaining a comfortable working environment. Setting up a home office ranges from $200 to $3,000.

Coworking Office

If you prefer a more professional setting or need a place to meet with clients occasionally, a coworking office might be the perfect solution. WeWork is a popular coworking provider that offers a range of membership options to suit your leggings business needs. Coworking spaces typically charge monthly membership fees.

Retail Office

If your leggings business involves a significant amount of in-person sales or customer interaction, a retail office space may be a good fit. A retail office combines a storefront with a workspace, allowing you to showcase your leggings collection while handling business operations.

10. Source Your Equipment

When starting a leggings business, sourcing the right materials and equipment is crucial for creating high-quality products and running your operations smoothly. The essential materials for a leggings business include fabric, elastic waistbands, thread, tags, and more.

Buying New

Purchasing new materials and equipment ensures that you have high-quality, reliable resources to start your leggings business. For fabric, consider sourcing from reputable suppliers like Mood Fabrics, or Spandex House. These suppliers offer a wide range of fabric options suitable for leggings.

Buying Used

If you’re looking to save on upfront costs, buying used materials and equipment can be a smart choice. Online platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist offer a wide selection of second-hand sewing machines, sergers, and other equipment. When buying used, be sure to inspect the equipment thoroughly.


Renting equipment can be a cost-effective solution for short-term projects or if you’re not ready to commit to purchasing expensive machinery. Companies like Rent-A-Center and Aaron’s offer sewing machines and other equipment for rent, with flexible terms and affordable monthly payments.


Leasing equipment is another option for leggings businesses that want to access new machinery without purchasing it outright. Leasing allows you to make monthly payments over a set term, typically 2-5 years, after which you can choose to purchase the equipment, upgrade to a newer model, or return it.

11. Establish Your Brand Assets

Establishing a strong brand is essential for any leggings business looking to stand out in a competitive market. A well-defined brand identity helps create a memorable impression for your own business and differentiates your leggings from competitor clothing lines.

Getting a Business Phone Number

Having a dedicated business phone number is crucial for projecting a professional image and ensuring that customers can easily reach you. A service like Ring Central offers virtual phone systems that allow you to manage calls, messages, and voicemails from anywhere.

Creating a Logo and Brand Assets

A well-designed logo is the cornerstone of your leggings brand identity. Looka is an AI-powered logo design platform that can help you create a professional logo and complementary brand assets like business cards, social media graphics, and product packaging.

Creating Business Cards and Signage

It takes more than just your logo to build a brand. Business cards are a tangible way to share your contact information and promote your leggings business. Vistaprint offers a wide selection of customizable business card templates and signage options that align with your brand identity.

Purchasing a Domain Name

Securing a domain name is an important step in establishing your leggings business’s online presence. Namecheap is a reliable and affordable domain registrar that offers a user-friendly interface and helpful tools for managing your domain portfolio.

Building a Website

In today’s digital age, having a website is non-negotiable for any leggings business. Platforms like Wix offer user-friendly drag-and-drop interfaces that allow you to create a professional-looking website without any coding skills. Consider hiring a web designer or developer from a platform like Fiverr.

12. Join Associations and Groups

Joining associations and groups is a powerful way to accelerate the success of your leggings business. These communities provide valuable opportunities to network with industry professionals, learn from experienced entrepreneurs, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends.

Local Associations

Local business associations are excellent resources for connecting with other entrepreneurs in your area. For example, the Small Business Association of Michigan offers a variety of resources and events to support local businesses, including those in the fashion and retail industries. Look for similar associations in your state.

Local Meetups

Regularly attending local meetups and tradeshows is a great way to expand your network and learn from other professionals in the leggings industry. Meetup is an excellent platform for discovering local events related to fashion, entrepreneurship, and small business growth.

Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are powerful online communities that bring together individuals with shared interests and goals. Joining Facebook groups relevant to the leggings industry can provide a wealth of knowledge. Try Facebook groups like For the Love of Yoga Pants and Leggings & More Leggings.

13. How to Market a Leggings Business

Marketing is the lifeblood of any successful leggings business. Without effective marketing strategies, even the most innovative and high-quality leggings will struggle to find their way to customers. As an entrepreneur starting a leggings business, it’s crucial to invest time and resources into developing a comprehensive marketing plan.


Personal Networking

When launching your leggings business, your network is one of the most valuable assets at your disposal. Reach out to friends, family, and colleagues who may be interested in your products or know others who would be. Encourage satisfied customers to spread the word about your leggings by offering incentives.

Digital Marketing

To expand your reach beyond your immediate network, consider the following digital marketing ideas:

  • Google Ads: Leverage the power of Google Ads to display your leggings in search results and on websites across the internet. By targeting keywords related to your products and audience, you can attract highly qualified leads and drive traffic to your website.
  • Facebook Ads: With over 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a powerful platform for reaching your target audience. Create engaging ads that showcase your leggings and target users based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.
  • Instagram Influencer Marketing: Partner with Instagram influencers in the fashion, fitness, or lifestyle niches to promote your leggings. Influencer marketing can help you tap into new audiences, build brand credibility, and drive sales.
  • Email Marketing: Build an email list of subscribers interested in your leggings and send regular newsletters featuring new products, promotions, and style tips. Email marketing allows you to nurture leads, drive repeat business, and keep your brand top-of-mind.
  • Content Marketing: Create valuable and engaging content related to your leggings, such as blog posts, videos, or infographics. By providing helpful information and showcasing your products in action, you can attract organic traffic, build brand authority, and convert readers into customers.

While digital marketing is essential in today’s connected world, don’t overlook the potential of traditional marketing tactics:

  • Flyers and Brochures: Design eye-catching flyers and brochures that showcase your leggings and distribute them in high-traffic areas like gyms, yoga studios, and local boutiques.
  • Events and Trade Shows: Participate in local fashion events, fitness expos, or trade shows to showcase your leggings and connect with potential customers face-to-face.
  • Collaboration with Local Businesses: Partner with local businesses that align with your brand values and target audience. For example, you could offer to display your leggings in a popular yoga studio in exchange for promoting their classes to your customer base.
  • Referral Partnerships: Identify businesses that serve a similar target audience but offer complementary products, such as athletic shoe stores or activewear retailers. Establish referral partnerships where you cross-promote each other’s products.

The key to successful marketing is consistency and adaptability. Continuously monitor the performance of your marketing efforts and be willing to adjust your strategies based on data and customer feedback. By staying attuned to your target audience’s needs and preferences, you can refine your marketing approach.

14. Focus on the Customer

In the highly competitive leggings market, exceptional customer service is the key to building a loyal and passionate customer base. Your ability to deliver a personalized, responsive, and satisfying experience will not only lead to repeat business but also drive valuable word-of-mouth marketing through customer referrals.


By delighting your customers, you’ll unlock a powerful network of brand ambassadors who will drive new leads and sales to your leggings business. On the flip side, poor customer service can quickly erode trust and damage your brand’s reputation.

As you build your leggings business, invest in the people, processes, and technologies that will enable you to provide an exceptional customer experience. From streamlined order fulfillment to personalized post-purchase support, every interaction should demonstrate your commitment to your customers’ needs and preferences.

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